Assessing the Scope and Parameters for Transitional Justice in Somalia

Assessing the Scope and Parameters for Transitional Justice in Somalia

November 12, 2021

Tags: Reconciliation, Transitional Justice


The National Reconciliation Framework in Somalia has a pillar dedicated to addressing the past. As yet, there is a lack of clarity as to what “dealing with the past” may entail. In practice, however, any process of dealing with the past will inevitably bring to the foreground issues of past violence, perpetration of abuses and aspects of accountability, whether for individuals, communities and/or political elites. Consequently, there is a need to ensure that any process is cognisant of the Somali needs and demands and the feasibility of implementation and the types of political resistance that may emerge. ‘Too much’ accountability may incentivise obstruction, too little may render a process irrelevant or deny victims justice.  The research will explore what kind of transitional justice Somalia seeks and, drawing on transitional justice expertise and best practice, will identify potential steps that could enable a transitional justice mechanism to emerge.

The paper looks at the following:

  • What we mean by transitional justice and dealing with the past.
  • What is the historical context and types of violence in which any transitional justice process will have to contend with.
  • What are the views and attitudes of Somalis towards addressing the past.
  • Types of transitional justice initiatives undertaken elsewhere.
  • Recommendations for steps to advance this work.

This paper forms part of the Funds wider research into reconciliation and long-term conflict transformation on some of Somalia’s most challenging and entrenched issues, such as Local Reconciliation in Somalia – Factors that Enhance Durability and Success; and Land Conflict in Somalia – A Literature Review and Gap Analysis.

Summary Report Full Report